We are fascinated by the phenomenon of turkeys that vote in favour of Christmas - and Dolce and Gabbana are very plump and juicy birds. Although for many years they were one of the highest-profile gay couples on the planet (they are no longer together), they have always seemed to oppose the idea of being gay.
Now they have spoken out in defence of the ‘traditional family’ and against ‘chemical offspring’, ‘rented uteruses’, and ‘synthetic children’. Gobble, gobble, gobble.
We are a gay couple who had our two children, now 5 and 3 years old, through IVF; we co-parent with their mother, a straight woman who is a very good friend. That's our happy brood, pictured above. Yes, we are a 'non-traditional family'!
The overtones of this language take us back to the Dark Ages of Maggie’s Section 28, which attempted to outlaw the ‘pretend’ families of evil homosexuals. How much mental illness and suicide that law fostered in the LGBT community in the UK one can only guess, but the toll must have been very high.
The basic idea was to make us feel guilty for existing; to make us feel unnatural and synthetic, like Frankenstein’s monster. During the civil rights movement in America, blacks were forever being accused of ‘trying to be white’: in other words, of being synthetic, dimestore whites. Feminists are even now accused of ‘trying to be men’.
The response has always been simple: you fools, can’t you see we are trying to be people? Why are simple truths always so hard to hear?
But Dolce & Gabbana have hit several nerves. Putting aside the concerns of the LGBT community for a moment, in the past few years we have met many straight couples who have desperately wanted children and been unable to do so for medical reasons. Sperm donation, IVF, and surrogacy have been a lifeline for them and sources of great hope.
What matters is not how you get there, but that you want with all your heart to have a family. When you start sneering at people’s dream of having a family – as D&G are, bizarrely in the name of protecting families – you are up against powerful forces.
What annoys us most about D&G’s slurs isn’t their impact on us as parents, because we are thick-skinned and tend to enjoy laughing at high-profile fools anyway. What really annoys us is that those slurs are basically aimed at our children, an attempt to abort their birthright of equality and make them grow up feeling uneasy in the world, to stigmatize them and make them feel wrong.
It won’t work. The platform of love we have built for our kids is strong, and they scoot down the pavement with a confidence and happiness that it belongs to them as much as it does to anyone else. Sorry guys, they can smell bullshit a mile off.
The truth is that the family we have created is unique in some ways, but its real strength comes from the fact that, in the final analysis, we are nothing out of the ordinary.
Yeah, we’ll stop buying expensive D&G clothes that we can’t afford anyway. But for us a more radical act is to sit down as a family to a lovely dinner, maybe tired of the squabbling, but content with what we have struggled to create. Pass the turkey!